Three Hampshire officers nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards

THREE Hampshire Police officers who restrained a man holding a knife to a woman’s throat, while also dealing with a dangerous house fire, have been nominated for The National Police Bravery Awards.

Shortly after 6.30am on 24 June 2022, Hampshire Police officers including PC Robert Davies, PC James Pawley and PC James Langmead were called to an address in Basingstoke following reports of a domestic disturbance.

Officers knocked at the door but failed to get an answer. Knowing there was a concern for welfare, they forced entry and were faced with furniture on the stairs blocking their access to the first floor. They could hear screaming coming from upstairs.

The officers removed the furniture and barged their way to the first floor. PC Davies found a man and a woman on a bed – the man was holding a knife to the woman’s throat and in front of her were her two very young children. PC Davies calmly and clearly spoke to the man and made every attempt to get him to back down and release the victim and her terrified children.

Meanwhile officers discovered a bunk bed on fire in another bedroom, and PC Pawley and PC Langmead rushed to attempt to get the fire under control.

As the house filled with smoke, PC Pawley and PC Langmead shouted instructions to officers on the stairs and tried to get burning items out of the house. They managed to get the mattress out while it was still on fire.

Black smoke was filling the room where the residents were, so PC Davies, PC Pawley and PC  Langmead moved to attempt to restrain the man on the bed, in order to protect the woman and children. In doing so, PC Pawley suffered a stab wound to the hand, but they managed to get the man away from the woman. The woman also sustained a stab wound.

The officers shouted instructions to the woman and police colleagues to get out of the burning building and get the children out. They then bundled the man out of the house.

Having cleared the house of people, PC Pawley took command of the scene and gave directions to other colleagues, while also tending to his own injuries. PC Pawley and PC Davies continued to safeguard the people from the house, their neighbours, and their police colleagues. Officers attended to the victim’s wound.

The officers arrested the man on suspicion of attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life. He was taken to Southampton General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and PC Pawley received treatment for his serious hand injury, which needed surgery. Several other officers were treated for smoke inhalation.

In April Kyle Butler was found guilty of attempting to murder his ex-partner after holding a knife to her neck and setting fire to her home.

Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoë Wakefield said: “Robert, James and James showed immense bravery as they faced the real threat of harm from an armed man, as well as from a dangerous house fire.

“It was a chaotic and fast moving scene but the officers did brilliantly to bring it to a conclusion.”

She added: “What absolute humble heroes this terrific trio are… They kept calm and professional throughout and I believe they saved lives that day.”

The National Police Bravery Awards honour officers from across England and Wales who have performed outstanding acts of bravery while on or off duty.

As nominees, the officers will attend a reception and an awards ceremony in London in July.

The National Police Bravery Awards are sponsored by Police Mutual.

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